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Involuntary Memories Exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

President Nixon being briefed on the Paris Peace Negotiations by Henry Kissinger, November 25, 1972

(Yorba Linda, CA) - The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum will present Involuntary Memories, which showcases the work of artist Deborah Aschheim, from July 26 to September 28, 2014.

Aschheim's installation is about people's memories of events that took place during the Nixon Presidency and the summer of 1974. Aschheim was artist-in-residence for seven months at the former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro (now the Orange County Great Park). President Nixon, family, guests, and staff would travel to El Toro by Presidential helicopter during visits to the Nixon home, La Casa Pacifica, in San Clemente.

Nixon's connection to El Toro and Orange County inspired Aschheim to interview park visitors about their own memories tied to events in the Nixon era. Aschheim made large-scale pen and ink drawings based on images from the Nixon era to inspire "involuntary memories" (the term, from cognitive psychology, refers to spontaneously triggered memories of autobiographical experiences) and to encourage people to tell her their personal stories. Text from these interviews is incorporated into the installation alongside the original drawings. "Richard Nixon's close ties to Southern California continue to reverberate in the memories of many local residents," states acting Director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum Susan Donius. "These ties make Involuntary Memories timely, informative, and an interesting way in which to view the life and career of the 37th President."

Deborah Aschheim makes large-scale immersive installations, sculptures, and drawings based on invisible worlds of memory and information. For the past ten years, she has been trying to understand and visualize memory, a subject that has led her to work with musicians and neuroscientists.

Media Contact:
Ida R. Eblinger Kelley 714-983-9119 or
Gregory Cumming 714-983-9131 or

The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is one of thirteen Presidential Libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Nixon Library is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exceptions of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Active military receive discounted admission with ID. The Museum is fully handicapped accessible. For more information, call 714-983-9120 or go to


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